Websites 4 Small Business

Our Process for Designing Websites

Wyn's working philosophy can be summed up by the carpenter's adage: “Measure twice, cut once!” Planning begins with a clear understanding of the client's goals for growing the business, both short-term and long.

Preparation Stage

Step 1. Client Homework: The client describes three ideal clients, and shows us websites that he/she likes and dislikes [see client homework sheet]. Also valuable is a list of keywords or phrases that potential clients are likely to use in Web searches.

Step 2. Initial Meeting: We meet with the client to go over the homework. Together, we develop an initial pencil sketch for the layout of the home page plus a secondary page if appropriate—or an understanding of what direction we will take for the graphical look and feel of the site. At this time, we also go over the information structure of the site—choosing the pages to be included on the site and what kind of content they will have.

Step 3. Proposal: If the site is larger or more complex than a simple “brochure” site, Websites 4 Small Business will develop a proposal specifying the scope of work, the information structure of the site, the nature and extent of any programming to be done for the site, and an estimated budget.

Step 4. Initial Payment: If the client is satisfied with the proposed scope and direction of work, a payment of one-half of the estimated cost is due at this time.

Design Stage

Step 5. Initial Design: Websites 4 Small Business creates a home page sketch in Photoshop, and shows these “mockup” pages to the client as jpg, gif or png files. If subordinate pages are to be different from the home page, Websites 4 Small Business also creates a secondary page layout so the client can see how a real page will look. If the site plan calls for additional programming or interaction with databases, a specification for the appearance and behavior of such pages is also done at this time.

Step 6. Client Feedback: The client describes any desired changes or adjustments to be made to this initial design.

Step 7. Final Design: Websites 4 Small Business incorporates the desired changes into the design of the home page and secondary page layout.

Step 8. Client Review: If the client is satisfied with this final design, we proceed into production. If the client is not satisfied, there are three options.

One: We can expand the scope of the project (and its estimated cost).
Two: The client can terminate the agreement without purchasing any of the graphics or page layouts, which means these graphics and templates are the property of Websites 4 Small Business (and therefore cannot be used by the client). Websites 4 Small Business keeps the advance payment already made by the client.
Three: The client can purchase the graphics and templates created to this point (through payment of current costs to date), which means the client will own those graphics and templates.

Production Stage

Step 9. Implementation: Websites 4 Small Business creates the actual pages for the site, using the text files supplied by the client. This stage also includes creating all internal links among the pages on the site as well as links to other sites. Keywords are placed in the titles and meta-tags of individual pages. Any additional programming (such as interactive forms or database work) is also done at this time.

Step 10. Final Payment: The final payment of the remaining balance is due at this time.

Note: The client does not own the site until final payment has been received.

Step 11. Delivery: The site is “delivered” to the client. Scripts for email or other interactive forms are “hooked up” and made operational. The domain registrar is told to make “” live and operational.

Maintenance Stage

Step 12. Updates & Maintenance: Any further changes to the site are billable at our standard hourly rate.

Clients who want to do their own updates are encouraged to use Adobe's Contribute or Dreamweaver programs. (OR: We can create the site in WordPress for you.)

Fixing mistakes or code problems that the client introduces to the site is billable at our standard hourly rate. Use of programs other than Dreamweaver, Contribute, Notepad or Emacs might not break the site in an obvious way. However, other programs may remove code that Dreamweaver needs in order to work properly, and restoring this code to every page on the site is a time-consuming and expensive process.

See also our terms of service and limited warranties.

Carpenter: measure twice, cut once!